TECHNOLOGY 1. the use of knowledge and skills to meet human needs and goals 2. the application of science to practical work in the world 3. comes from Greek words: tekhne meaning “art” or “craft” and logos meaning “word” or “speech.” 4. a tool or technique The Stone Age is the period in human history during which humans made their implements (tools) mainly from plain stone. During this time, hunting weapons like spears and arrow heads and cooking utensils like knives and grinders were all made of stone, bone, or wood. The Stone Age is usually divided into the Paleolithic Age (Old Stone Age) which began with the first humans and lasted until around 10,000 B.C. and the Neolithic Age (New Stone Age) which went from 10,000 B.C. to 3,500 B.C. Just because it is called the Stone Age doesn’t mean humans did not have an array of technology for their use. They had already learned many ways to catch, kill, and preserve food. The Copper Age began around 5,000 B.C. when humans started using copper “rocks” because it was plentiful and because it was soft and could be easily shaped. In fact, copper could be taken from mountainsides in pure form and hammered into different shapes without the use of heat. Copper is also very durable. (There is a piece of copper pipe from ancient Egypt that was found and is still in good shape.) Copper and gold were the first two metals used in their raw form by humans. The Bronze Age replaced The Copper Age when, around 3,000 B.C., the Hittites and Minoans learned to make an alloy (a metal that is a mixture of two or more metals) called bronze by melting together copper and tin. Bronze weapons and agricultural tools were harder than plain copper ones and more easily shaped than plain stone. Bronze was also shinier than plain copper and so was used for sculpting art, too. The Iron Age was an even more revolutionary age than the Bronze Age because iron is extremely hard and strong and permitted the creation of much more efficient agricultural tools like iron plows and iron-spoked wheeled carts, as well as much more dangerous weapons. Historians still don’t know for sure who it was who started producing iron first. It may have been the Hittites. What we do know is that the Kushites in Egypt were the first to produce iron in large quantities around 1,100 B.C. You might say that today we live in The Age of Steel. It is perhaps the most commonly used strong, hard metal for things like machines, buildings, bridges, vehicles like trains, etc. Steel is actually just iron but with some carbon bonded to it to make it stronger. Even during the Iron Age, humans had learned this trick of adding some carbon to iron to make it stronger. In fact, different swords of famous leaders like the legendary Excalibur (King Author’s sword) probably were special and stronger becaue of the amount of carbide in it. What do you think will be the next age of technology?
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